Author's Note: Ok, so this is my first fanfic (well . . . actually 2nd or 3rd, but I was working on those with others and there was never time to finish . . . so technically this will be my first finished fanfic flying solo . . . If I get lots of review to help encourage me hint hint

Ok, yeah, I know I'm not the only one out there who feels that Jareth and Sarah should have ended up together, though not technically in the course of the Labyrinth since she was like 15 or 16 at the time and I really don't feel that that was the right age for Jareth to start hitting on her and trying to make her fall in love with him and whatnot. I really think he should've waited just a tad bit longer in any case, at least until she was 18 and heading out into the "real world." So . . . I, like so many others before me, have decided to make a sequel/fanfic thingy about these two when I feel that Sarah was a bit more mentally and emotionally mature. Ok . . um . yeah . .that's out of the way.

Plot Blah thing: Jareth was upset when Sarah turned him down, but to make matters worse, he finds out that the Underground Council is forcing him to get married to an Elvin princess. The only way to get out of it is if they can prove within the next 5 years that one of them is lifebonded to someone else. Let the race against time begin!

Ooo and before I forget and get sued: I in no way own the Labyrinth or any characters that were originally in the movie. All rights go to their original persons. That was my disclaimer . . . SO DON'T SUE ME!

LATER NOTE: Yeah, I kinda had to fix some mistakes in this chapter that I made, plus I added a few things, though nothing overly big. Just some wording.

The Incentive

by Fou Fou

"Just fear me, love me. Do as I say, and I will be your slave," he implored, gazing intently at the girl trying to stop her from saying the words.

Curiously, the Elvin woman watched the epic confrontation in a floating crystal as she lounged on the throne in the recently deserted throne room. She leaned on one arm with he back and propped her feet up with the other, not caring if the owner of the chair found her. Intently she continued to watch, wondering if the girl . . . Sarah? . . . would remember the words and be the first to defeat the Goblin King. Never before had she seen someone get this far, and she was amazed at the sense of willpower this young woman had.

"You have no power over me!" cried the girl, with revelation, a determined look on her face. Far off, bells began to ring, clanging as the girl disappeared and the crystal faded to black.

The woman sighed as the crystal popped like a bubble. "Hell, that man will be impossible to reason with now that his precious pride as been wounded. And he was so certain he would get her." She shrugged. "Ah, well, he'll get over it. Just kidnap a few more babies and whatnot, and he'll be fine." She paused, thinking while biting on her red manicured nail. "Though I've never seen him do what he did for her before to any other one." Smiling, the Elvin woman thought of the ball she had helped with, as part of a distraction for the girl Sarah. There was something about the way he looked at her that special sparkle in his eyes that lighted up his face as the two of them waltzed around the room. Something that shone in his eyes with a passion she had never seen before. She sighed and examined her nail. "Ah well," she whispered. "No point in worrying about it now. I just have to figure out how to get out of my current predicament." Sighing angrily she jumped up from the throne and cried, "It's not fair!" clenching her fists, her bright red fingernails digging into her skin.

"Life isn't fair," came a cool voice behind her. Only from knowing the owner of that voice did she faintly recognize the strain in his voice, and blinked with surprise. "I would think you, of all people, Princess Mara K'Talven of the Shadow Elves, would know that," he spat.

Mara turned and gave him a cheerfully false smile. "Oh, I know that, Jareth. I just love to complain. After 500 years, I would think you would know." She studied her friend, surprised by what she saw. Sure, he looked normal enough. Well, as normal as the king of the goblins could look. He was taller then Mara's 5'6" stature (she only came up to his nose). His longish blond hair was poofed like a mortal rock star. He was still wearing absurdly-just-short-of-pornographically-tight black leggings and now was sporting a black Shakespearean tunic. It never ceased to amaze how much that man felt he must change each day. Finally, there was his eyes; one brown, one blue. But instead of the normal indifference or mischievousness she normally saw reflected from his eyes, there was a sense of deep loss that reflected itself back at her. Like a part of him was missing . . .

It worried her.

"Something wrong?" she asked tentatively.

Tension hung in the air between the two like an unwanted guest, leaving an uncomfortable silence. Just as Mara thought he wasn't going to answer, he whispered, "She said no," so quietly she almost couldn't hear it despite her Elvin hearing.

"Surely it can't be that bad for your pride," she murmured, trying to joke, but finding she couldn't.

"Why!?" he demanded, mismatched eyes glaring into space. "I offered her her hopes, her dreams, anything she wanted I would give her. Even turn the world upside down, and she said 'NO!!' She chose to go back to her boring human life of babysitting her brother every night! To live the pathetic life of a mortal. She chose that over me?! My . . . my . . . l-love?"

Mara bit her lip, not knowing what to say, never having seen this side of him before. Love? She didn't even know he knew the meaning of the word. But there was that ball . . . "Are you sure that's how she feels?"

Jareth sighed angrily. "How should I know!?" he asked bitterly. "I . . I though, in the ballroom . . ." He gazed off at nothing. "What did I say? What did I do wrong?"

Mara studied her longtime friend, hardly believing that he was acting like this. In all her years of knowing him, not once had she seen him break down like this. He was acting nothing like the proud, arrogant, asshole she had grown to cherish as a friend these many years. How could this mere girl have such an effect on him? Unless . . .

Reaching out with her powers she 'saw' a thin line stretching between him and something far away . . . Aboveground. A certain someone . . . A bond she knew how to recognize far too well.

Good Heavens, she thought. How is that possible?

Mara suddenly smiled, a plan beginning to form in her mind. Now, if time and the people around her would just do what she wanted, she might be able to get out of her problem and make Jareth thrilled at the same time.

"Several things," she replied indifferently, examining her fingernails once more. She paused, glancing up at the Goblin King who turned to stare at her, as if willing the reasons to make themselves known.

"First of all," she said, attention turning back to her beautifully manicured fingernails. "Sarah is only 15. Hardly ready mentally for a relationship with a man of that magnitude, and not yet fully ready to appreciate the fact that you were wearing your pornography tight leggings again to show off the size of something. " (at this, Jareth began muttering a very rude and graphically unflattering comment about Mara) "Second: that the whole thing about 'love me, fear me, and I will be your slave.' No self-respecting woman with a brain would say yes to an offer posed that way!" she looked back at the legendary Goblin King, that cool arrogant look returning to his face.

"And why wouldn't they, Your Most-Knowledgeable-Highness?" he asked curtly, glancing at her.

"Because, my poor misguided friend. What you were asking for was for her to worship you, plain and simple. Just be the perfect little lap dog. Even Sarah could see that. Not to mention the fact that you acted like a rude-arrogant bastard whenever you two came near each other – except for the ball of course - but even then you had a touch of arrogance. I don't blame her for saying no!" A flash of pain broke through Jareth's ice mask before disappearing again. Casually, as if the idea had just occurred to her, Mara said quietly, "But I think we might be able to get you a 2nd chance, before it's too late, and the council finds out, but I have been due for an 'integrating with mortals' term in the human realms, so we might just be able to pull it off. Providing you don't screw things up again."

Suddenly, Mara felt her shoulders roughly grabbed as she was shoved up against the nearest wall and was staring into the very tense face of a very interested Goblin King.

"What. Are. You. Talking. About." he demanded, punctuating every word.

"I didn't come back from my visit back home merely because I missed you, Jareth, (though I must admit that the thought of staying much longer at home wouldn't have been bearable much longer,)" replied Mara, truing not to flinch as she felt her shoulders start to go numb. "The Underground Council has come to a decision," she continued, a touch of annoyance on her face as she once again returned back to the casual inspection of her nails as if she wasn't being pressed rudely against the wall, ignoring the impatient Goblin King glaring at her. "You were suppose to have gotten the letter, but I suppose due to . . . recent events . . . you were too busy to check."

"What did it say?" demanded Jareth, applying just a tad bit more pressure to her shoulders.

"Well apparently the council has decided that a certain Goblin King and Elvin Princess have lived far too long without a spouse, and both have a certain . . . arrogant independents that, in their opinion, would make them well suited for each other. Add that with the fact they are already friends, the council thought it was a perfect idea that the contract was made up by that pig of a father of mine and signed by the council. The date has already been set, in 5 years time on Midsummer's Eve."

There was a pause as the information sunk into Jareth's head. "The HELL!?" he yelled violently, releasing Mara as he spun around and conjured a crystal ball that he threw at the opposite wall, which shattered upon impact.

"My sentiments exactly," said Mara, rubbing her shoulders to get some feeling back into them. "I mean, I love you like a brother, Jareth, even though you abuse me sooo much."

Jareth snorted. "More like you abuse me," he muttered.

Mara pretended she hadn't heard. "But marrying you would be too close to incest for my preference," she finished.

This was rewarded by a sharp bark of laughter from Jareth.

"Must everything you say involve sex?" he asked, some amusement coming back into his voice.

Mara smiled innocently back, her bright purple eyes flashing mischievously as she twirled a lock of red air around her finger. "Who . . . me?" she asked, eyes wide. "Never!" Then, after a thoughtful pause she added, "Well, maybe a little . . . but only because you corrupted me years ago!"

This got a real laugh out of Jareth. "Whatever would I do without you?" he asked, chuckling.

"Probably have a lot less diplomats pissed off at you," she replied.

"Aye," he murmured, smiling, before a frown returned. "So what are we going to do about the marriage?" he asked apprehensively. "5 years is not a long time."

"Neither is forever," said Mara. "For immortals, in any case. However, for a mortal, it is a long time, just enough for my plans to go into action."

"Mara, I don't like that look in your eye. Last time you had that look you almost got me blamed by the Council for being the individual behind the Silver Dragon Incident, even though it was you!."

Mara made a slight tsk tsk noise with her tongue. "Such distrust, I'm hurt," she sighed dramatically and collapsed onto the throne. "In any case, I've been studying the laws in matters such as this," she continued. "The marriage contract can be made void if one of the two individuals is lifebonded to another and can prove it." She carefully looked at Jareth. "And I think we found yours," she added quietly.

"But lifebonds are so rare," protested Jareth. "Last one known was 200 years ago!"

"Hell, I know!" replied Mara. "It was my twin sister who was lifebonded! I've been spent years studying lifebonds, you'd think I'd know what to look for!" Mara clenched her fists, willing herself to remain calm about that topic.

"But I watched you two, and I swear I see the beginnings of a lifebonded. Hellfire! I checked!" she continued enthusiastically. "In 5 years time Sarah will be 20, old enough for you, and to understand what you're asking (not to mention appreciate your pants). And I'm going to the Aboveground in any case. I can become friends with her and since she doesn't know me, she won't suspect me of being connected to you! I can find some way to get her to come to the Underground for you to woo your fair maiden and you can be free to do as you please."

Jareth looked at his friend with shocked disbelief. "You'd do that for me?" he asked.

"Hell, I'll never do anything that doesn't directly benefit myself," said Mara with a smile. "You know that. By getting the two of you together I can efficiently get myself out of an unwanted marriage. It all ends up benefiting me in the end!" she said, a confident smirk playing across her face, as she leaned back into the throne, resting her hands behind her head. "Then I can go see about applying for that Ice Queen Position, considering the fact that it has been empty since that little girl came rushing in with that moose to save her friend." She frowned for a moment. "Though I'm to crazy about the idea of flying on a sled led by chickens. Even big fluffy ones. And the fact that the castle is kinda in the middle of nowhere." She sighed. "Ah well, I'll think of something. Too bad all the fun positions are 'men only.'"

Jareth laughed and kissed her gently on the cheek. "Thank you, luv."

Mara winked at him mischievously. "You just watch," she murmured, almost to herself, as she closed her eyes and relaxed. "The Underground Council won't know what hit it."

Jareth just hoped she was right.

Unfortunately, some things never work out they way they're intended . . .

A/N: And that ends segment #1. This is my first fanfic and I really hoped you liked it. Please Review! (I write more if you do shameless begging) Praise as well as constructive criticism is always appreciated. Makes me feel special winks. I'll try to post the next section soon!